This course aims to help PhDs in Computer Science to scale and enrich their technical and scientific abilities with experiences, (soft) skills and networking useful for your future either as a researcher, or as an entrepreneur, or as a chief software engineer, or as the CTO of a successful company ! It is indeed very well known that the best talents are found at the intersection of community/networking, skills, right mindset (good attitude and self-motivated) and technical competency. The course is intended to have PhD students to ACT on their own and be able to evaluate their scientific achievements from other perspectives, find new avenues for grant funds for research and developing their ideas.
The final outcome of the course (which will coincide with its exam) is twofold:
- Pitch: Students have to prepare a pitch about their research and achievements which is effective and challenging for an audience of funding agencies, startups and CTOs.
- Internship [optional]: Search for three startup in Italy or worldwide, or pick them up from the Summer Internship Program of our PhD, which are technically interesting in their achievements and close to the research the PhD student is pursuing, so that a stage/internship there could be challenging for him/her. The PhD coordinator will help PhDs, with the support of incubators and networks, to reach those companies and set up the internship.
The lectures of the course will be the following ones:
When the researcher looks at the tree and not realizes the presence of the forest: Introduction to the course and motivations underlying the design of this course.
Speaker: Paolo Ferragina (UniPI)
EU funding and beyond: How to find money to nurture your edge-cutting research which is close to application, in order to turn it into a prototype (proof-of-concept). Focus will be on public grants (for PoC), or grants that need relationship with companies, or grants suitable to create companies.
Speaker: Michele Padrone (UNIPI)
From research to products: How to set up the right mindset, and which are the skills and tools to start a successful proof-of-concept project.
Speaker: Davide Morelli (BioBeats)
Innovation Modeling: Disruptive innovation model; Lean Startup model and its hypothesis on customer, problem and solution; Market estimate – and the hypothesis on market existence. A glimpse on branding, selling, and reason to fail.
Speaker: Flavio Tosi (Business Exploration)
Business Modeling: Design thinking is a mind-set, a process and an approach that helps "entrepreneurs" to consider alternatives, define choices and achieve desired results: This is a process of continuous experimentation, iterative analysis and fast decision-making. How can we apply these ideas to research projects and outcomes?
Speaker: Camilla Van den Boom (Eindhoven University)
What is and What is searching for a Venture Capitalist: How to prepare an amazing pitch to defend and promote your research ideas in front of a public/private investor? Which job opportunities are offered by Venture Capitalists to PhDs in Computer Science? What is Venture Factory and how it relates to top-class research?
Speaker: Nicola Redi (Venture Factory)
Personal coaching: PhD students will be assisted in preparing their pitches.
Speaker: Ray Garcia (Buyont Capital, NY)
April 9th, 2018; Sala Seminari Ovest: 9-9.30 Ferragina, 9.30-12 Padrone, 14-16 Morelli, 16-18 Tosi
April 10th, 2018; Sala Seminari Ovest: 9-12 Van den Boom, 17-18 Redi.
April 11th-17th, 2018: 15-18 Garcia (one-on-one meetings for pitches preparation via Skype calls)
April (TBD), 2018: Pitches by students (exam), Sala TBD